Hey guys! I hope you’re all well this weekend 🙂
Okay, so I’ve got a special set of posts for you, because over the weekend I was at YALC 2016! I have a lot to talk about but I didn’t want to stagger too many posts into the whole of August, so you guys will be having two posts this week (lucky you). Today I wanted to describe my YALC experience, and tomorrow or the day after I will do a mini YALC book haul 🙂 Also, I apologise in advance for the truly shocking quality of the photos in this blog, I was a bit overwhelmed 😛
For those who don’t know, YALC is the Young Adult Literature Convention. It is a mini convention running as part of London Film and Comic Con, which this year was held between Friday 29th July and Sunday 31st July 2016. YALC is still a baby convention really as this was only its third year, but it was actually my first time going! As I hadn’t been there before I didn’t know what to expect so I only chose attend the Friday rather than booking a ticket for all three days.
So when I first arrived into YALC I quickly signed up for the workshops I wanted to go to later in the day, as when reading blog posts about previous YALCs I was advised that spaces fill up pretty quickly. After that I headed straight to the first table, which was an amazing spread of freebies! Everyone there was queuing so we could all stuff our bags with as much as we could carry without looking like crazy hoarders (even though we definitely are)! By the end of the line my hands were full of bookmarks, posters and samplers,
#jobdone. I actually don’t own any bookmarks so this was really useful!
The main section of the YALC floor contains stands of numerous UK publishers selling their books, giving away samplers and just generally spreading book love. I really want to get into publishing so it was a great opportunity for me to see whats out there and which publishers are really killing it for me. So many big names were there, from Penguin and Atom to Usborne, Hodderscape, MKB and so many more. There were also smaller publishers that I hadn’t heard of before such as Firefly, so it was nice to see the UK publishing sector in all its glory. I was too intimidated to take a picture of the glorious table displays, but here is part of the beautiful book wall that had been set up at the front of the convention- do you see any of your favourite books?
And OMG the books. There were so many glorious covers on display, it took all of my self-control not to go home with my arms full of stories. I was actually writing down all the books that really caught my eye as I was walking through it was that bad. As it was a literature event there were some really good deals on, such as cheaper paperback prices (about £5 for many of them) and even some early copies of books due to be released in August! I was so so tempted to buy an early copy of Nevernight, but it was a hardback and I really do prefer my paperbacks haha. The only downside was the Waterstones stand didn’t have any discounts or offers available. I was really hoping they would do 3 for 2 or something, especially as the publishers themselves were having discounts too!
My main reason for going to YALC was not just to drool over the mass of books on offer. I actually went for the workshops, specifically a talk about how to get a job in publishing (it’s such a competitive field and I’ve been struggling to secure a job recently). It was really nice to hear from employees in different sectors of publishing; from childrens’ to adults’, from booksellers to marketers and designers. Sadly there weren’t any people from the Production department, which is a shame as I have been seriously considering that area of book publishing over any others. I also went to some interesting creative writing and research talks with Lisa Heathfield and L. A. Weatherly. I felt like a bit of an impostor as I haven’t actually got any book ideas ready in my head right now, but it was still really interesting to hear from real authors! 😀 One day I’ll write a novel…
Another feature of YALC was the main stage, which had talks throughout the day on a variety of topics with bestselling authors. I went to one called Behind the Magic: Magical systems in YA. This was a really fun talk as it had some amazing talent on stage, including Victoria Schwab (OMG), Melinda Salisbury (!!), Taran Matharu (I’ve been wanting to read his series for a while) and Sally Green (definitely on my TBR list now). It was so interesting to hear how these amazing people construct their magical worlds and bring it to life on the page.
I also wanted to get my books signed by Schwab at the end of the day, but umm, this was the line about 15 minutes before the signing officially started:
I don’t know if you can get the scale of the line from the poor-quality photo, but it was crazy. It covered about half the hall! I sadly didn’t have the time to wait that long so I couldn’t meet Schwab, but hey ho. You win some you lose some I guess.
Also also BREAKING NEWS. During the event some new book information kept being released. The one that stood out to me the most was the cover reveal for Melinda Salisbury’s new book, The Scarecrow Queen!
I was actually really bad and missed the official uncovering, but luckily Twitter was on hand and I saw it as soon as I got home. I only finished the first book in the series on the train to YALC, but I just LOVE the cover designs of this series, they are all so gorgeous! I’ll read the second book and if it is good I’ll definitely be hyping up for the third release!
Overall it was a lovely first experience. I did get a little lonely so I think it would have been more fun if I had a friend to accompany me. But I definitely don’t regret going and I have already decided I’ll be visiting next year! I’ll try and be more open with speaking to publishers and fellow book lovers too, I was a bit overwhelmed this time haha!
Did anyone else go to YALC this year? Let me know how you found it! 🙂
In my next post this week I’ll show you guys the books I ended up buying, here is a sneak peak of my YALC goodies: